Serves a Crowd

Coffee Custard Tart

April 17, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Makes one 9" tart
Author Notes

I made a thin, crisp shortbread crust flavored with concentrated coffee, whole wheat pastry flour, and turbinado sugar and filled it with a barely sweet, egg-rich, coffee scented custard. Since there are only two tablespoons of sugar in the custard, I think it might be equally nice for dessert or as part of a brunch. - ALittleZaftig —ALittleZaftig

Test Kitchen Notes

Back in the days before I could afford an apartment with air conditioning and the summer temperatures in Boston sweltered for days on end, I had to take my morning coffee iced, with lots of cream, just to make it through getting dressed for work without wilting. This tart brings me back, sans the sweat dripping down my back, thank God. The concentrated coffee holds its own well against the barely sweet creamy custard. The brown-sugared shortbread is a great textural counterpart. My only complaint is that while the edges of the custard set well, the center stayed quite squidgy. No worries, I have plenty of spoons. - cheese1227 —cheese1227

What You'll Need
  • Coffee Custard
  • 1 1/2 cups very strong coffee
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Coffee Shortbread Crust
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon concentrated coffee
  • 1 pinch sugar
  1. Coffee Custard
  2. Start with very strong coffee. I use 3/4 c. ground dark roast coffee to 4 c. water and use a French press. Any method will work, but the stronger the coffee the better, I think. Take 1 1/2 c. coffee and simmer it in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is reduced to about 1/2 c.
  3. In a medium saucepan, whisk the egg yolks. Whisk in the cream, sugar, and 1/2 c. concentrated coffee, reserving 1 T. of the coffee for the crust. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it is beginning to thicken and coats a wooden spoon. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. The custard will thicken slightly as it cools, too. Sieve the custard if you fear you have lumps. Set it aside until it is time to fill the tart crust.
  1. Coffee Shortbread Crust
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the flours and mix only until incorporated. Stir in the coffee concentrate.
  3. Transfer the shortbread dough to a 9" tart pan, and pat it out. Sprinkle it with a pinch or two of sugar to make the job a bit easier. Using your fingertips, press the crust evenly into the tart pan and up its sides. Place a sheet of parchment paper into the tart shell and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and gently remove the parchment and pie weights or beans. Bake the crust for an additional 10 minutes. Cool the crust slightly and then pour in the coffee custard. Spread it with a spatula. Chill in the refrigerator to set and until serving time.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Fariman Moghadassi
    Fariman Moghadassi
  • Mother Daniel
    Mother Daniel
  • Peter
  • Daphne
  • FrancesRen

19 Reviews

Fariman M. May 15, 2018
2 tbsp sugar is not enough I usually cut the sugar in 1/2 but this was not correct i actually put 4 tbsp.
Emily November 20, 2017
Just made this and the custard broke...waiting for it to cool to see if it is salvageable. What went wrong?
Mother D. June 5, 2014
Hmmmm... From what I have read, coffee flavor profile is changed considerably for the worse when reheated. That being the case, I can only imagine that a cup and a half of strong coffee reduced to a third of its volume is going to change to something not to the better. Why not just brew cold brew 2 1/3 Tbsp. course ground coffee with a 9 T water and skip the boil and bitterness?
ALittleZaftig June 5, 2014
Thank you for the suggestion. The flavor profile of the finished tart is softened by all of the cream, and I have not found the flavor bitter. I haven't used leftover coffee, and have always reduced fresh coffee. When I first developed the recipe I suspected that I needed a lot of oomph and very little liquid to convey the flavor across all of that egg and cream. I will try your suggestion. I suspect it will be lovely, though perhaps softer in coffee flavor. We are made better cooks through sharing. Thanks again! And let me know if you have good results, too.
Elaura January 31, 2012
Made this just last weekend, added a bit of dark rum to the filling and added a meringue on top with muscovado sugar to use up some of the egg was delicious, thank you for the lovely recipe!
ALittleZaftig January 31, 2012
That sounds wonderful!
Peter July 8, 2011
I can't say I'm a fan of coffee, but my wife loved this. Thanks for the great recipe!
Daphne May 3, 2011
As soon as I get my kitchen back I'm making this and all of your tarts look fantastic!
FrancesRen April 29, 2011
thank you for this recipe. I love it. what a great substitute for morning coffee. :)
wssmom April 21, 2011
I love the coffee in the crust!
ALittleZaftig April 20, 2011
Thank you! So kind of all of you.
mrslarkin April 19, 2011
this sounds delicious!
Lizthechef April 19, 2011
Love your recipe -
VanessaS April 19, 2011
Yum, looks great!
Midge April 18, 2011
This sounds great!
ALittleZaftig April 18, 2011
Thank you both!
ALittleZaftig April 17, 2011
I simmered down strong coffee until it was reduced by 2/3.
WinnieAb April 17, 2011
ok thanks for clarifying :)
WinnieAb April 17, 2011
Sounds postively heavenly. When you say concentrated coffee, do you mean freeze-dried coffee powder? Or something else?